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Thread: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

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    tannybrown's Avatar
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    New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    So we are new home and first time pool owners. The pool was resurfaced with Pebbletec, around February or March we believe, by the prior owner.

    The pH is rising a bit on its own, which seems to be normal? The alkalinity is high, too. For details, pH was just a bit above 7.8 and alkalinity was at 170, so I added in a gallon of muriatic acid and brought it down to roughly 7.2. However, when I tested today, the Ph was back at 7.8 (it's been creeping up a bit daily as I've been testing), and alkalinity was somehow at 190 (?). I have not been aerating to bring pH back up because, well, it's rising on its own (due to the new plaster/Pebbletec, I believe).

    I'd expected alkalinity to go down...I am new to testing so perhaps this is a case of user error. Here are today's numbers.

    I have a few questions:

    1) is there a target alkalinity I ought to shoot for or just let it be?
    2) should I aerate to bring pH back up after adding acid?
    3) with a new surface, should I aim for a particular pH or just keep knocking it down to 7.2 and see if it keeps creeping back up?


    PH 7.8
    FC 3.5
    CC 0.5 (?)
    TC 4
    CH 325
    TA 190
    CYA 55
    First time pool owner as of April 2017. Tempe, AZ.

    Pebbletec pool (plaster, I think), somewhere around 30,000 gallons, single speed 1 HP pump, cartridge filter, with a skimmer and a Heyward vacuum running at night for 4 hours.

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    1) Keep adding acid. Eventually the TA will go down. You might find somewhere close to 50-60 is the best. I don't have Pebble-Tec but I have the slightly less expensive quartz mix, and to be honest, it's just now (3 years later) that my pool is "happy". And by happy I mean doesn't consume a gallon of acid a month. It likes TA of 50 and ph 7.5-7.8

    2) You can try the Lowering TA method if you want it to go faster. Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    3) Don't shoot for 7.2, try 7.5 instead and wait until it's barely over 7.8 to add. You may find you need to add acid less often.
    32K gallon Plaster - CircuPool SJ-55 SWG - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL/K-1766
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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    I vote for knocking pH down to 7.2 and aerating pH up to 7.8, then repeat. You should be able to drop TA pretty dramatically. When TA comes down, Acid use will reduce.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

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    Re: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    Lowering TA may help, no question about it. It is not a magic bullet though, I just went back through my log that goes back to the beginning and I have always had lowish TA, always in the double digits. It would be a cheap and relatively easy thing to try, for sure, if you would like to. It's no guarantee.
    32K gallon Plaster - CircuPool SJ-55 SWG - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL/K-1766
    Test Kits - Pool Math - Chlorine/CYA/Target/Slam Chart - Support TFP

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    Re: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    Quote Originally Posted by elwood58 View Post
    I vote for knocking pH down to 7.2 and aerating pH up to 7.8, then repeat. You should be able to drop TA pretty dramatically. When TA comes down, Acid use will reduce.
    Since the pH is rising on its own...is it necessary to aerate? I ask as I'm very likely just going to knock it back down to 7.2 again.
    First time pool owner as of April 2017. Tempe, AZ.

    Pebbletec pool (plaster, I think), somewhere around 30,000 gallons, single speed 1 HP pump, cartridge filter, with a skimmer and a Heyward vacuum running at night for 4 hours.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    One thing to consider: static electricity.

    Sometimes the R-009 develops a static charge which makes the drops smaller and the TA reading then higher than reality. Just wipe the tip with a damp paper towel before testing TA to eliminate that possibility.

    I wouldn't bother aerating. It'll take the same amount of acid to lower the TA no matter whether you do it over a month or an afternoon. Maybe when it gets below 100 you'll want to, but I suspect it raises plenty quick all by itself already.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    tannybrown's Avatar
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    Re: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    Both are great points, thanks. I'll definitely try the damp towel to have more confidence in the reading.

    And yeah, with the new pool surface I'm reading that this pool is going to raise its own pH for a while. Since I need to add acid, might as well let it lower the TA, too.
    First time pool owner as of April 2017. Tempe, AZ.

    Pebbletec pool (plaster, I think), somewhere around 30,000 gallons, single speed 1 HP pump, cartridge filter, with a skimmer and a Heyward vacuum running at night for 4 hours.

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    Re: New Pebbletec, pH, and Alkalinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    One thing to consider: static electricity.

    Sometimes the R-009 develops a static charge which makes the drops smaller and the TA reading then higher than reality. Just wipe the tip with a damp paper towel before testing TA to eliminate that possibility.
    L always wondered why this was in the instructions. Thank you for your insight!
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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